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Practical life: Dressing Frames

The Dressing Frame is a key Montessori Practical Life material which helps children to develop independence and care of self as they learn to fasten different clothing implements. The material is a set of wooden twelve-inch square frames with various clothing fasteners which the children may encounter while dressing. They include:

  • Zipping Frame

  • Bow Frame

  • Buttoning (large buttons) Frame

  • Buttoning (small buttons) Frame

  • Lacing Frame

  • Velcro Frame

  • Buckling Frame

  • Hook and Eye Frame

  • Snapping Frame

  • Safety Pin Frame

When teaching the child how to work with the dressing frames, the teacher firstly will invite the child to work with her and introduce a particular dressing frame, saying the name of the dressing frame. The teacher will then show how to carry the dressing frame to the selected work area in the Montessori classroom and place the dressing frame in front of the child. From there, the teacher will then demonstrate how to carry out the activity of the zipper frame for example by placing the left hand on the left side of the flap and pulling the zipper head down with the right thumb and index finger. The teacher will then show the child how to zip up by placing the left hand right at the bottom of the zip, holding both the flaps down. She then pulls the zip head up with the right thumb and index finger. After the lesson is complete, the teacher will show the child how to take the frame and place it back on the shelf in the classroom.

Tips on how to do the dressing frames at home with your children: You can provide any clothing available at home to your child to work with on how to dress and undress themselves.

Objectives of teaching the child how to use the dressing frame: 1) To teach the child how to use the various types of clothes fasteners 2) To develop the child’s eye-hand coordination 3) To develop the child’s fine motor control 4) To develop the child’s concentration 5) To develop the child’s independence 6) To develop the child’s self-confidence 7) To satisfy the child’s need for order

"Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence." – Maria Montessori -



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